Not sure if you heard, but the Eagles did not visit the White House on Tuesday. President Trump canceled on Monday after it was revealed that only a small portion of the team would take part in a ceremony honoring their Super Bowl 52 triumph.
Instead, the President held a rally to celebrate America, featuring the playing of the National Anthem and God Bless America.
The White House claims it tried to work with the Eagles to “change the event” format after the team reportedly asked to reschedule. Some of the Birds responded individually on social media, but today is the first official media availability since the fiasco began, beginning with Doug Pederson at the NovaCare Complex podium.
Doug didn’t want to waste a bunch of time talking about it. I don’t know if he was “annoyed,” per se, but he tried to move the conversation forward to football topics. Still, the majority of questions obviously had to do with the canceled trip.
Notes from the presser:
- First statement on the cancellation: “This is going to be a blanket statement and then I’m not going to discuss it further. I was looking forward to going down, obviously. We did something last season that was very special, a milestone here in the city of Philadelphia, for our organization. I was looking forward to going down and being recognized as world champions. It is what it is. We’re here today, got an OTA practice now… looking forward to getting on with it.”
- When pressed for follow ups: “I’m not discussing it… what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard is enough.”
- Mood of the team is great, no residual effects
- Does it bother him that he has to answer these questions? “No, we’re a team, we’re united.”
- “Our goal is 2018 and that’s motivation enough.”
- Did not have to address the White House situation with the players in a team meeting.
- On fans feeling aggrieved “We have the greatest fans in the NFL, our true fans are beside us and we’re beside them, we love everything about the people who love and support us. Can’t say enough about the good things they’ve done for us.”
- On Carson Wentz doing 7v7 – “part of rehab process is giving him a bit more practice time, one of the controlled environments we can put him in is 7v7, being able to sprinkle him in and watch him in up tempo process, we’ll continue to do that and just keep building as we go.”
- Wentz started doing 7v7 this week
- Can’t answer whether or not Wentz is ahead of schedule. “I’m not a doctor.”
- Didn’t want to answer questions on how many players were planning on visiting the White House.
- Another follow-up: “…it’s over, it’s behind us, we’re moving on.”
- Michael Bennett is not at practice, but was back a few weeks ago during phase two of OTAs. Not worried about Bennett at all. Darren Sproles also not at training right now.
- Can’t speak for other teams. “I was looking forward to it. You win a championship.. you wanna be recognized that way, I think it’s great. But I’m not going to speak for other teams. I was looking forward to it.”
Interesting to me that Pederson repeatedly said that he was “looking forward” to the White House visit. I don’t think that necessarily means anything from a political sense, just could be strictly about having the experience of being honored for winning the big one.
Players will speak later today, but here’s Doug’s presser if you want to get the full context, body language, etc:
Tune in as head coach Doug Pederson meets with the Philadelphia media. https://t.co/88vRPgWDwA
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) June 6, 2018